Archive for the ‘Cold’ Category

Chili today, hot tamale

January 27, 2022

Sun’s out, but my guns are still in.

I don’t remember when or where I first heard that old gag. “Chili today, hot tamale.” It sounds like something the old man would’ve said.

He picked up some Spanish down in Panama and he’d toss fragments of it at me and my sis as a call-and-response joke come bedtime. We had to repeat each phrase after he uttered it. (“Repitan ustedes.”)

“Hasta la vista.”

“¿Como se llama?”

“Buenos noches.”

This last became “Buenos snowshoes” at some point. Lord, what white people will do to someone else’s language.

Anyway, it’s chilly today, so I plan to make chili today, from a Pierre Franey recipe. No tamales, though. Eso es demasiado como el trabajo.

Cold comfort

December 11, 2021

The sun peeks over the Sandias.

Speaking of filthy weather, looks like I made the right call when I skipped cyclocross nats in Illinois.

USA Cycling announced via Twatter this morning that powerful winds had caused “heavy damage to both the course and the venue,” and that the industry races would be canceled and other events delayed and shortened.

Still, could be worse. This is apparently a love tap from a series of storms that roared through the Midwest and South like Sherman marching to the sea.

Kentucky may have gotten the worst of it, though a tornado in Illinois ripped open an Amazon fulfillment center like a wassail-crazed holiday reveler taking a box cutter to a package.

“About half of it’s missing, it’s gone,” a fire department captain told The New York Times. The building was about 400,000 square feet. One wonders how many car condos were parked nearby, their occupants grabbing a bit of shuteye between holiday shifts.

Here in The Duck! City we awakened to temps in the teens, but the usual blue skies appear poised to prevail. The furnace is running like a cyclocrosser with a 60-mph tailwind, but at least the roof is still on.

Piss on the dogs and call in the fire

October 14, 2021

Space: the final frontier. (Some restrictions apply.)

What’s that ominous rumble? O buggah — it’s the Trane XR80 roaring to hideous life astride the cooling carcass of summer.

Mid-October is a wee bit early for this sort of thing. But these are strange times, and getting stranger by the minute.

Captain Kirk rode one of Jeffy Bozos’ dick-missiles to the edge of space yesterday and returned to tell us all how glorious it is to be a wealthy white man with friends in high places. A first-class ticket for Aer Dingus is just one more thing you can’t afford, suckers. Now get back to work.

“Live long and prosper,” murmur the Vulcans. But they’re being ironic, as usual.

Either that or they’re talking to the Vogons, whose Constructor Fleet should be popping round to start work on that hyperspatial express route any day now.

Resistance is useless!

And now, here’s Patrick with the weather

April 17, 2021

The maple shares the eastern horizon with blue sky
and a few clouds … for now.

The furnace was chugging away when I woke up this morning. This, after some days of riding around and about in knickers and arm warmers. (Not the furnace. Me.)

Our weather widget in the kitchen told me the temp outside was smack dab at freezing — 32° Fahrenheit. No wonder I was wearing pants, socks, and a long-sleeved shirt, I mused.

Miss Mia Sopaipilla says she would like her meals delivered.

In my office Miss Mia Sopaipilla was tucked away in the Situation Room, monitoring developments, largely through closed eyelids.

The forecast calls for snow, which some of you are already enjoying. Any inclination I might have to bitch about it is tempered by the ongoing grim news about the state of the Rio Grande, which is likely to be drier than the proverbial popcorn fart this summer. Pinning our hopes on a stout monsoon season seems about like asking Santa Claus to lay a few bazillion gallons on us. We have not been good girls and boys.

Speaking of water, if you are fortunate enough to find yourself restricted to the great indoors by inclement weather you might have a sip from this week’s episode of Desert Oracle Radio. Ken Layne discusses the “accidental miracles” that spared so much of the American Southwest’s mountains and deserts from growth for growth’s sake, which Ed Abbey dubbed “the ideology of the cancer cell.”

Then change channels to KLZR-FM in Weirdcliffe, where my man Hal Walter — who seems to be Mister Multimedia these days — chats with Gary Taylor about the joys of running and other things.

Hal is enjoying a bit of snow himself up to Weirdcliffe rather than running his ass off at the Desert Donkey Dash in Tombstone, Ariz., where the forecast is for a high in the 70s. If he has any regrets about this as he feeds the woodstove he is keeping them to himself.

Cold deck

March 16, 2021

This little canyon stair-steps up to the north off Foothills Trail 401.
A bit of bouldering is required in spots.

This is why I always shunned the casinos while in Sin City for Interbike.

I gambled on a nice long hike yesterday, betting that today would be better for the old bikey ridey.

Wrong.

Sure enough, something snuck in over the Sandias.

Yesterday was most enjoyable, two hours of up and down and all around, with a bit of light jogging thrown in here and there as the spirit moved. Rolled up the sleeves. Probably could’ve worn shorts.

Today I gnawed on a chilly wind from behind a handlebar for an hour and the nicest thing I can say about that is that I was not indoors. Long sleeves. The knickers and fingerless gloves proved unwise. Airborne allergens caressed my nostrils the way a peeler does a potato.

And now the weatherperson says snow is on the way? Snow? Who dealt this mess?

Getting wood in Weirdcliffe

February 22, 2021

The fireplace in Weirdcliffe, before we installed a Lopi woodstove insert.

When Texas sank back into the Ice Age, I was reminded of the good old days on our wind-scoured rockpile outside Weirdcliffe, Colorado.

There, the power only went out whenever it was inconvenient. And it usually would stay off for an hour or two at minimum, which was the time it took for a utility guy from Cañon City to flip a switch somewhere.

We learned early on that not much works during winter at 8,800 feet in the ass-end of nowhere if you don’t have power. No water, no cooking, and most important, no heat.

I remembered the joys of a heat-free home from my stint in a 9×40 singlewide trailer in Greeley back in 1974. Its oil furnace was forever seizing up in the middle of a winter night, and there’s nothing that clarifies the mind for higher education quite as well as the backsplash from a frozen toilet when you get up at stupid-thirty to offload a sixer of the long-neck Falstaffs you enjoyed for dinner.

Our private road. I went backwards on this stretch in 4WD one evening. I wasn’t scared or nothin’, but somebody shit on my seat. | Photo: Hal Walter

So on our hillside, we kept ourselves prepared. There were canned goods and jerrycans of water in the hall closet, along with a Coleman two-burner and several 1-pound propane bottles for emergency cookery. And we had several candle lanterns and flashlights at the ready because this shit never happens in broad daylight on a weekday.

But the smartest thing we did was have a Lopi woodstove insert installed in our fireplace, along with buying a chainsaw and ax. When you heat with wood, it warms you twice — while you’re cutting it, and while you’re burning it.

And speaking of getting wood, yes, yes, yes, it’s time for the latest episode of Radio Free Dogpatch.

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: I recorded this one in the Comedy Closet, using a Shure MV7 mic and Zoom H5 Handy Recorder. Editing was in Apple’s GarageBand, with a sonic bump from Auphonic. Music by Infernal Hound Sound; sound effects courtesy of Zapsplat. Special guest appearance by Shel Silverstein.

Blather warning

February 14, 2021

Cold? Yah. Blizzard? Nah.

The weather wizards are proclaiming a blizzard warning for the Duke City and its environs, but Boreas seems to have pissed off somewhere. Maybe he’s stalking Cupid.

Anyway, we have maybe an inch of snow on the deck, and some flurries continue, but the wind speed is far short of double digits.

It is colder than relations between Mitt Romney and Ron Johnson, but they’re both as rich as Croesus so I’m sure they’ll get over it.

And now for something completely different

December 12, 2020

“Yeah, I’m wearing clothes. So what? So are you.”

After the events of the past few days I’m thinking we can all use a photo of a Shih Tzu wearing her poofy winter duds.

Sometimes I have a great notion

September 12, 2020

No, I’m not snorting a line. Not right at that moment, anyway. …
Photo 1981 by Tom Warren | Corvallis Gazette-Times

Somehow I never thought of Oregon as a place that would burn.

I never thought it could burn.

In my mind Oregon remains a damp, dreary place where I spent a lot of time indoors, either working, hammered, or both. The only place I never owned a bicycle. Occasionally I walked, but only if I was too drunk to drive.

All my people were back in Colorado or in California, where I spent some months trapped in a Simon and Garfunkel song:

Asking only workman’s wages I come looking for a job

But I get no offers

When an offer finally came the job was in Corvallis, in Oregon’s Mid-Willamette Valley. It was good to be working again instead of sponging off friends and family, but the baggage I brought with me held more than T-shirts and jeans.

I made some friends, most of them on the job, your typical newsdog. And we had some laughs, catching Andy Irvine and Paul Brady in concert at a tiny venue downtown, or motoring to Portland to hear Johnny and the Distractions.

Occasionally I’d meet my old buddy Merrill in Seattle, a change of scenery for us both. He was trapped at a newspaper in eastern Washington, which was another sort of hell altogether.

But I spent a lot more time slouched in Squirrel’s Tavern or in my tiny apartment, huddled with my dogs next to the wood stove, or taking aimless solo drives out to the coast, places like Newport or Depoe Bay.

Mostly I remember rain, damp, the kind of cold that a Colorado winter doesn’t prepare you for, the sort that settles right down into your bones and makes itself at home. I got fat in self-defense, trying to make my bones harder to find.

If you’d told me the place would burn I’d have laughed out loud and poured another one. But I don’t drink anymore, and I’m not laughing, either.

• From Oregon Public Broadcasting: How you can help.

One more for the road

September 10, 2020

Anybody up for a cold one?

I hope the hummingbirds like their sugar water on the rocks.

The last couple days must’ve been an unpleasant surprise for the little buzzbombs.

“Goddamn it, Rufous, I told you we should’ve split for Acapulco last week! I’m freezing my tailfeathers off!”

Could be worse. Could be in Bibleburg, where Thursday’s low tied a 122-year-old record. Up there the hummers are wearing merino-wool longjohns and watch caps.